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Monday, July 11, 2016

Japan votes Peacexit - if not Democracexit

It only took a few hours for the British to understand that voting for the Brexit was not such a good idea. The Japanese people may need more to realize what they voted for yesterday, but the consequences are far worse for them. And here too, there's no morning-after pill.

For Japan, the vote was not about remaining in the EU, but about remaining a peaceful democracy. And as we've seen countless times before, Shinzo Abe's only dream is to alter the constitution that protects the nation, most notably the article 9 that prevents the return to militarism by renouncing to war, the use of threat or force. Abe will probably go at the article 96, which requires for any change to the Constitution that each house got a 2/3 vote in favor of it, and a ratification by referendum.

Yesterday, Abe claimed the second two third majority he coveted for so long, but he still needs a popular vote to directly support the motion. And yesterday, the constitution was not the main issue for voters, out of which only 49% supported the move.

Source The Mainichi (20160711)
"Many voters unaware what 2/3 majority means for Constitution revision" (The Mainichi 20160711). 33% vote about ABEnomics, but 100% actually vote about ABEIGNomics.
"Asahi exit poll: 49% support constitutional amendment" (Asahi Shimbun 20160711)
Still, 49% is already alarmingly high, and the future looks grim: the 18-19 year-olds who voted for the first time opted twice as much for the LDP as for the DP (40% vs 19% - Kyodo News).

Knowing Shinzo Abe's cunningness*, I don't seem go for a clear question like 'are you for or against the return to war, force, and threat?' He will rather go for a technical change to article 96 (e.g. only majority of both houses required) that will help him do whatever he wants.

And what Shinzo Abe and Nippon Kaigi want has always been cristal clear:

Seoul Village 2016
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* e.g. ""History is harsh" and other sick jokes" and "Decoding the Abe Statement: "why apologize for crimes Japan never committed?""
** e.g. "Tokyo Trials on trial: after Japan, Abe forces the US to chose between Imperial Japan and postwar Japan"

Friday, July 8, 2016

Gimme Shelter

I was back to town right on time to attend the inauguration of the Young Architects Program exhibition at MMCA Seoul*... and to enjoy a bit of the rainy season, even if this one looks much milder than the biblical downpour of 2010 (see "Chusoaked").

Luckily, the ultimately MOMA PS1-ish theme was about 'shade, seating, and water', and the winning project provided the perfect shelter for both Tuesday's rain and Thursday's sun. 

Named Temp'L, like for a temporary temple, Shinslab's structure does have, with its whaleish white ribs, something of Niemeyer's Brasilia Cathedral. It also honors the 2015-2016 France - Korea cultural years (see "Bleu Blanc Rouge"): based in Paris, Shinslab Architecture is led by Franco-Korean couple Claire and Tchely Hyung-Chul SHIN.

In the middle of the museum's courtyard, Temp'L is a big chunk of a boat's shell upcycled into a welcoming space with windows to Gyeongbokgung and Bugaksan, and trees breathing life within it.

Could this non threatening, upside-down hull in the heart of Seoul, just hectometers from Sejongdaero, help post-Sewol Korea at long last start healing?

"Shinslab's TempL - YAP winner at MMCA Seoul. A cathedral-like boat shell, a shelter, not a haunting Sewol-ity (

Back to MMCA SEOUL (and the hull of YAP's winning project) (

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* hors les murs de MOMA PS1, this edition involved Santiago de Chile's Constructo, Istanbul Modern, MMCA Seoul, and Pippo Ciorra's MAXXI in Rome

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